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Bihar: Nitish Kumar Refutes Rumours About Returning to NDA

Kumar said he is happy that the opposition alliance is intact and everything is going in the right direction.
Nitish Kumar

Image Courtesy: PTI

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, also de facto chief of JD-U (Janata Dal-United), which is part of the opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), on Monday dismissed reports or speculations regarding realigning with the BJP-led NDA (National Democratic Alliance) ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

"These are useless reports. There is no question of it. I have no interest in it. I have only one goal to unite and strengthen the opposition alliance, and I am busy with it", Kumar told the media.

Ironically, he said this while attending the official birth anniversary of RSS and Jan Sangh icon Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay on September 24. Deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav was also present. 

Kumar said he is happy that the opposition alliance is intact and everything is going in the right direction. He has categorically refuted rumours about his growing closeness with saffron party leaders.

"I have been talking to opposition alliance leaders, and different committees have been set up and working."

Recently, it has been hotly debated in political circles whether Kumar will realign with the saffron party, given several developments, including meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G20 dinner. It was his first meeting with Modi after the end of the alliance with BJP. 

This question has been raised repeatedly in the last year by some Hindi dailies after Kumar dumped the BJP and joined hands with the RJD, Congress and Left parties to form the ruling coalition last August. It appears that the non-stop campaign that Kumar may return to NDA is a part of the BJP to confuse people in the state and send a political message that Kumar is uncomfortable in Mahagathbandhan. 

Early this year, Kumar, in a strong reply to the BJP, said that he "would prefer to die" rather than realign with the party and accused his former ally of lodging cases against his deputy Tejashwi Yadav "deliberately without basis". This was probably the first time Kumar cleared his stand. 

BJP leaders are divided about Kumar and his likely entry into the NDA. BJP leader and Bihar in-charge of the party Vinod Tawde said that the doors of BJP have been shut for Kumar, and there is no chance of alignment with him.

Senior BJP leader and Union Minister RK Singh said it is for Kumar to decide whether to join the BJP-led NDA.

BJP state president Samrat Choudhary welcomed Kumar for paying floral tribute to Upadhyay. 

However, another senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister, Sushil Kumar Modi, said that Kumar will not get a fresh opportunity to join NDA.

"Kumar has become a political liability. Even if he rubs his nose, there will be no entry into NDA".

Interestingly, JD-U leaders have already launched a campaign to project Nitish Kumar as the main face of the opposition alliance and prime ministerial candidate of INDIA.

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